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What does the electronics ban on flights mean for travel insurance?

The UK has announced a ban on electronic devices coming in on flights from some countries in the Middle East. It means that anything bigger than a smartphone (16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm) will have to be kept in the hold.

The ban only affects devices coming in on direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia . It won’t apply to travellers coming to the UK, who have started their journeys in the affected countries but changed flights in Europe.

The ban is immediate, so what does it mean for passengers and their travel insurance? Well, as inconvenient as it is, you might think your valuable laptop, tablet or e-reader is safe in the hold, but is it? Not all insurance providers will automatically cover your electronic devices even if they’re tucked away with your main luggage.

If that’s come as a surprise, then you’re probably not alone. Although your travel insurance will usually cover the cost of lost, damaged or stolen luggage, there are limits to what you can claim for. For example, most policies typically have a ‘single item limit’ this is the most amount of money you can claim for one item. Most of the time the limit will be around £100-£200, which wouldn’t cover the cost of many mobile phones or gadgets. Just make sure you check your policy’s exact limit as they can all differ. But not only that, some policies explicitly exclude ‘valuables’ from a travel insurance policy – which means you may not be covered at all.

So, what’s an adventurer to do? The advice is to read your terms and conditions carefully and to make sure that you’ve got the necessary cover. If you haven’t, then consider an extension to your policy such as additional gadget cover. You can usually find this as an optional extra and it can vary between offering you insurance for a number of devices or up to a certain amount of money. As most of us like to have our gadgets to hand, even on holiday, having the right policy to protect them is a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’.

If you haven’t got your insurance sorted yet and know that you’ll be jetting off to one of the affected destinations on holiday and are worried about the journey back – then don’t be. Stick with us and compare travel insurance to find a policy that can cover your valuables when you need them covered – relax, it’s a holiday after all.

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